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Help with My Routine. Trying to Get Big


hey guys, new poster but long time reader. background info: tall and bastardly skinny: 6"2, 170. i know a big part of bulking right now is my diet and i think i'm doing prettywell in that respect.

i just have a few concerns with my routine i'd like to address. i'm sure you guy will have some useful changes/modification/commentary too, so please give it. here's what i'm doing now.

2 day split -> arms/chest, and then legs/back

arms/chest day
-3x8 DB bench press
-3x8 incline pec deck
-3x8 decline pec deck

-3x8 standing DB shoulder press
-3x8 lateral raise
-3x8 front raise
-3x8 row

-3x8 DB curl
-3x8 BB curl
-3x8 cable machine EZ curl

-4x8 tricep cable pushdown w/EZ curl (2 sets palms up, 2 sets palms down)
-3x8 tricep cable pushdown w/ rope
-3x8 french press
-3x8 DB tricep extension

leg/back day
-3x8 leg press (i started with squats, felt weird and didn't get great results)
-3x8 leg curl
-3x8 leg extension

-3x8 rack pull
-3x8 lat pull down
-3x8 horizontal hammerstrength row

in addition, i do these exercises on both of the above workout days
(being a naturally skinny guy my forelimbs don't grow at all if i don't hit them directly):
-3x8 standing calf
-3x8 seated calf

-3x8 reverse curl w/ BB
-3x8 reverse curl on cable machine w/ rope

so here are my concerns and hopefully you guys can tell me what i should do to fix them:

  • the set and rep range. i always choose a weight where the last few reps of the 3rd set are brutal but i can finish. it seems retarded to be doing 3x8 for everything, by default, but it feels good and seems to be working. i wonder if i should be doing different ranges in different places though.

  • my elbows, am i going to destroy them by doing a total of 16 sets on the cable machine on my arms day?? ( 3 from bi's, 7 from tri's, 6 from forearms)

  • i think my hamstrings aren't getting shit from leg curl. i want to add deadlifts into my leg day and probably remove the rack pull (i am loving the rack pulls right now though)

any other useful comments are much appreciated, thanks for reading if you got this far


A few questions:

Are you doing the legs/back session the day immediately after the chest/arms day?

When you say 3x8, are you doing the same weight for three sets of eight reps or are you ramping the weight up?

What weights are you using on the DB bench, leg press and rack pull?

Are you going two out of every three days to the gym?


If you're going to do a two-way split I recommend doing only two exercises per muscle group, only two work sets maximum, and make sure you're in the gym at least 4 times a week.

You should also be aware that the biggest mistake most people make is with their diet. They think they're eating a lot, or feel as though they are consuming enough calories and/or protein, but in reality most people have no clue. Other people sacrifice calories for eating as "clean" as possible, which is also a mistake.

If you aren't gaining 3-5lbs of bodyweight a month, and eating at least your bodyweight in protein daily, then you aren't building muscle.

On top of that, if you aren't regularly adding weight to your exercises, you aren't training hard enough, and obviously won't be building any muscle.


1) yes, i just alternate them and usually do something like A/B/REST/A/B.. OR A/B/A/REST/B/A/B

  1. same weights, but i try to increase the weight from workout to workout

  2. repping 50's on DB bench, 225 on rack pull, and 4 plates total on leg press

  3. yeah


I'm definitely in the gym 4 times a week. Per your recommendation, triceps, for example, just do 2 sets of 2 different exercises, what sort of rep scheme?

Yeah I agree with diet its easy to underconsume. Believe it or not, I actually graduated high school at 150 lbs. So i'm 20 pounds more now. My diet right now is lots of protein shakes w/ milk, chicken, pasta, and fruit.


Well you would obviously want to do enough warmup sets in order to handle your heaviest weight safely, but after that yeah, two work sets either with the same weight or moving up.
For me personally I work up to the heaviest weight I can handle for 6-10 reps on most exercises, and if I can get 10 reps with it then I move up in weight and grind out a few and that becomes my working weight for the next workout. If I get less than ten I just do a second set with the same weight.

Although for something like rope pushdowns, lateral raises, or calve raises you usually want to be in more of a 10-15 rep range.


In addition to what mr popular has outlined, I would say that your love for the 3x8 set/rep system might not do you good. Different muscles and exercises are better suited to different rep ranges. This setup also does not permit you to lift as heavy as you otherwise could.

I would suggest that you focus on getting stronger. If you consistently strive to lift heavier and heavier(don't go overboard and hurt yourself!), you will get bigger.
The main thrust of my post is that 3x8 has not been very productive in my experience. At least not for most exercises.